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placeholder November 4, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA

Nov. 5: FACE Advisory Board, Chancery

Nov. 7: Pastoral Leadership Placement Board, Chancery

Nov. 8-15: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Nov. 16: 10 a.m., Permanent deacon ordination, Cathedral of Christ the Light

Nov. 17: 11 a.m., Mass, St. Bonaventure, Concord

Nov. 18: 10:30 a.m., Mass, Mercy Retirement Center, Oakland

Nov. 18: College of Consultors, Chancery

Nov. 19: 9 a.m., Mass, All Saints School, Hayward

Nov. 21: 11 a.m., Mass, St. Felicitas School, San Leandro

Nov. 21: Vespers and dinner, University of California at Berkeley, Catholic faculty and Graduate Theological Union, Cathedral Event Center

Nov. 24: 4 p.m., Mass, Vietnamese Martyrs, St. Anthony Parish, Oakland

Nov. 25: 10 a.m., San Francisco Province Bishops, Archdiocese of San Francisco

Nov. 26: Priests' Day Lecture, Mass and dinner, St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park

Nov. 28: 10 a.m., Mass, Thanksgiving, Cathedral of Christ the Light

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Crèche Festival deadline near

Parishes, schools and pastoral centers are asked to submit their registration for the fourth annual Crèche Festival, which will be Dec. 13-15 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

Deadline for registration, which can be made online at http://ctlcathedral.org/visit/creche13, is Nov. 8.

Students at St. Patrick School in Rodeo, under the direction of art teacher Loretta Airoldi, are building a crèche inspired by the painting "Nativity" by Brother Martin Erspamer, OSB, which graces the poster for this year's festival.

Parishes are invited to create a new crèche, or share a much-loved one.

St. James the Apostle Parish in Fremont will display its crèche that got new life from parishioner — and award-winning watercolor artist — Susan Stamp. For the last 25 years, Stamp has set up the crèche, which was purchased by the Parish Activity Group in the mid-'70s.

"When I first started setting up the set, I saw how badly scratched and damaged the statues had become," she said. When she was taking down the scene after Christmas 1995, she decided to repair and repaint all of the statues.

"First I sculpted new fingers, toes, and a nose on a few of the statues," she said. "Then I had to fill in some holes that were here and there on the body sections. The paint on the statues was badly scratched from the hay the set was stored in. So the statues were repainted head to toe. I somewhat matched the colors of the original colors of the statues. I changed the light green cloak of one shepherd to a dark green cloak. Baby Jesus now had a pink glow on his baby face cheeks," she said.

In addition to the display of crèches, there will be concerts each day of the festival, as well as lectures and a special tour for senior citizens.

New assignment

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, has announced the following clergy assignment:
Rev. Mark Amaral was appointed parochial administrator of St. Stephen Parish in Walnut Creek effective Dec. 1. He has been at St. Joseph Parish, Pinole.

Bishop's Appeal record

The 2013 Bishop's Appeal has reached $2,331,111. It has now exceeded last year's record $2.3 million and with two months remaining, is on the way to reaching this year's goal of $2.5 million. Forty parishes have met or exceeded their goals.

Faith conference

The Faith Formation Conference is a multicultural event that highlights the importance of faith development at all levels of church and society, aimed at adults to enrich their faith and strengthen their knowledge and skills to do ministry in their church and in the world. Parish ministers, catechetical leaders, catechists, teachers, youth ministers or youth leaders or if you want to learn more about the Catholic faith — this conference is for you. Workshops are offered in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The conference is Nov. 22-23 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara. For more information, about workshops, exhibitors, speakers, and registration, dial 510-267-8371 or visit www.faithformationconference.com. The Diocese of Oakland is a co-sponsor of this conference, together with the dioceses of San Jose, Monterey and Stockton, and the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers are offering a workshop at the conference, Making the Spirit of Pentecost Come Alive in Your Parish.

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African-American Liturgy

Come worship and celebrate the African-American experience of liturgy, music and ritual at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. Da' Young People's Choir, directed by Leonard D. Pete, music director of St. Benedict's Church in Oakland, will lead. A reception will follow the Mass. Rev. Ray Sacca will preside, with Rev. Jay Matthews as homilist. For details, contact Denise Kogler, 510-271-1935, dkogler@ctlcathedral.org.

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Meeting agenda items

WASHINGTON — Elections for a new president and vice president, a discussion and vote on a Spanish-language book of prayers at Mass, and a proposal to develop a statement on pornography are among the items awaiting the U.S. bishops when they gather in Baltimore for their annual fall assembly. At their Nov. 11-14 meeting at the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott Hotel, the bishops also will hear a status report on their strategic/pastoral plan and vote on the final translations from the International Committee on English in the Liturgy on liturgical practices regarding marriage and confirmation.

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Joy of family life

A Catholic wedding is not simply a beautiful ceremony; through the sacrament of marriage a couple receives from God the grace they will need to fulfill their mission in the world, Pope Francis said. Addressing an estimated 100,000 people who came to St. Peter's Square Oct. 26 for a Year of Faith celebration of family life, Pope Francis said Catholic spouses are not naive; they know difficult moments will come. But vowing to love one another in sickness and health, joy and sorrow all the days of their lives, Catholic couples put their lives in the hands of God and rely on him for strength.

Marriage is beautiful

The Catholic Church must help young people understand that marriage isn't always easy, "but it is so beautiful," Pope Francis said. "There are problems in marriage: different points of view, jealousies, arguments, but tell young couples to never let the day end without making peace. The sacrament of matrimony is renewed in this act of peace," the pope said Oct. 25 during a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Tebartz-van Elst
Leave of absence

Pope Francis has authorized a leave of absence for a German bishop at the center of controversy over expenditures for his residence and diocesan center. "A situation has been created in which Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst currently cannot exercise his episcopal ministry," said a statement Oct. 23 from the Vatican press office. Pope Francis, after being "continually, broadly and objectively informed" about the situation in the Diocese of Limburg, has authorized "a period of leave outside the diocese," effective immediately, the statement said.

— Catholic News Service

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